Blog Entry

Blue Jays president optimistic on near future

Posted on: January 30, 2012 9:46 pm
By Matt Snyder

The Blue Jays held their "State of the Franchise" event with fans Monday night in Toronto. It was the opportunity for fans to ask questions of -- or yell at -- team president Paul Beeston, general manager Alex Anthopolous and/or manager John Farrell.

A variety of topics were discussed, obviously, but the money quote came courtesy of Beeston (pictured right), when he said he expects the Jays to make the playoffs "two to three times in the next five years." (Mike Cormack via Twitter)

"Could start this year, could start next year," Beeston said (Mike Cormack via Twitter).

Now, there is nothing wrong with confidence, but this is a bit ambitious. The Jays went 81-81 last season, which was good for fourth place in baseball's toughest division. In 2010, they won 85 games and still came in fourth. In 2008, the win total was 86. And, again, the Jays finished fourth. That wins other divisions some seasons. In the AL East, it makes you an afterthought.

Further clouding matters is the front office's refusal to dole out big-time contracts. Both Beeston and Anthopolous said the club would not give out a contract of longer than five years. That is what eliminated them in the Prince Fielder sweepstakes, for example, as Beeston specifically told fans money wasn't the issue and they were interested in Fielder on a deal from one through five years.

The Blue Jays do have a good amount of young talent and I fully expect them to be better in 2012 than they were in 2011. With the playoffs expanding to allow two wild cards, that helps, too. But making the playoffs three times in the next five years is pretty tough for anyone, let alone a team competing against the Yankees, Rays and Red Sox in the AL East. 

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Since: May 18, 2010
Posted on: January 31, 2012 3:22 pm

Blue Jays president optimistic on near future

People forget the Jays made a number of moves that weakened the 2011 team before the season and they still finished .500. All moves made this off season made the team stonger and by all estimations the team will continue to improve throughout 2012 into 2013. Realistically the Jays could expect 88-90 wins this year which would leave them close to a playoff spot for most of the year.

Since: Dec 13, 2008
Posted on: January 31, 2012 11:31 am

Blue Jays president optimistic on near future

I never alluded to the length of the contract thing...but Stieb was a known commodity from within the Jays organization, not that much of a gamble back then...and BJ Ryan was the most coveted free agent that year, it was a shock that he chose Toronto, and yes Thomas was done, but did have a good first year with the Jays, not going to argue that one....all Im saying is that they AA and Beeston want to build a solid team foundation before adding those pieces, while not overpaying just to get them.  That being said if Votto is availiable for free agency, watch them change their mind.

Since: Nov 14, 2008
Posted on: January 31, 2012 11:31 am

Blue Jays president optimistic on near future

Jays fans also like to point to the aging Yankee pitching staff, but it shows an ignorance of how the Yankees run their team. If they have some gaps or issues, they WILL address them via trade or free agency (unlike Toronto). This year they added Kuroda (probably a short rental, but there will be another Kuroda type next year and after that available) and acquired Michael Pineda.

The Rays are the exception rather than the rule when it comes to approaching the game like they do. But I do agree, they are an example of how a team can truly turn things around in just one year with the right people making the right decisions. Here we are in Year 3 with AA and it's the same ol' song and dance.

Since: Sep 27, 2007
Posted on: January 31, 2012 11:18 am

Blue Jays president optimistic on near future

altho i do see the blue jays getting better it's players like travis snider who have held the blue jays back. this is a guy who was or is supposed to be the savior. the guy who was the middle of the order bat that the blue jays needed and was gonna carry them into contention. you see the worst part of the theory the jays need to spend some more money not go crazy but still spend a little to upgrade instead of relying on all these so called big time prospects. they are close so now close the deal

Since: Aug 20, 2008
Posted on: January 31, 2012 11:06 am

Blue Jays president optimistic on near future

Actually, the Jays did spend and give out 10 year contracts in the 80's. Dave Stieb was signed for one of the richest contracts at the time in 1985. And it ended up turning into a steal.

And don't say JP added big name free agents. He added old free agents and over-rated free agents in weak FA classes. 

Since: Jan 6, 2007
Posted on: January 31, 2012 10:54 am

Blue Jays president optimistic on near future

I think its very possible for this to come true. Ok, the Jays are 4th place in the division, but you cant look at that number. They were a .500 team in the best division in baseball, despite blowing a league leading 25 saves with that crappy bullpen. They had a horrible pitcher in Jo-Jo Reyes who was basically a guaranteed loss every 5 days until he got the boot. 3rd base was a disaster for 3/4 of the season until Brett Lawrie came up. These were major issues that could kill any team, yet despite that, the Jays managed to finish the season at .500.

Now, the Jays didnt go break the bank and sign a Prince Fielder or a good starting pitcher, but they completely overhauled that horrible bullpen. The team actually blew 25 saves, that a massive amount of losses resulting from the horrible bullpen we put out there. Thankfully, AA made some more smart moves, especially the deal for Sergio Santos. The move came out of nowhere, and AA managed to get a young, talented pitcher who is locked up for 6 years. He had 30 saves last year, and our scouts believe he can be an elite level closer. I think its a great move, rather then spending a ton of money on Papelbon or Bell. Lets see who has more saves in 4 years, Bell or Santos...

Besides Santos, we got a bunch of other arms for the bullpen, so on paper Id say that we have improved a lot in this aspect. There is no way the pen is as bad as it was last year, I mean 25 Blown Saves is horrible. If they can even get 10 more saves, that would put us up to 91 wins over last year. Now there are lots of other factors throughout the season that will affect where we end up, but fixing our Bullpen, along with a full season of Brett Lawrie, I do expect this team to be much improved this season.

Oh and I know the Jays didnt add any pitchers, but I think the rotation is still better then the start of last year. The team has a lot of solid core pieces in place, and could be a trade deadline move away from the post-season this year. They still need other pieces, and they need things to go well, but there is a reason to be positive. I dont understand the haters, I guess they dont have the patience but I can see the plan clearly moving along.

Since: Dec 13, 2008
Posted on: January 31, 2012 10:54 am

Blue Jays president optimistic on near future

They can get back to where they were in the late 80's early 90's, Beeston knows how to get it done.  Enticing the players to want to sign in Toronto again is a big step, the players want to play for a class organization that has tradition and a great ballpark.  The ballpark is what is hurting us now, with all the retro outdoor parks like Pittsburgh, San Fran, Detroit, Baltimore, Minnesota the Rogers Skydome has been left in the dust.  Switching to grass is a step in the right direction.  The way the Jays are building is also a link to the past.  The Jays were good back then mainly to homegrown drafted players that grew with the team Fernandez, Gruber, Borders, McGriff, Moesby and then when they were good enough they added free agents like Morris, Stewart, Winfield, Molitor.  Thats were AA and Beeston want to get to again.  Unfortunately the lockout in 1994 destroyeed baseball in Toronto and also started the Yankees dynasty too, not good.  Once Interbrew took over they ran it into the ground and JP adding by big name free agency didnt help.  As a Jays fan since the the early 80's at exhibition I have seen it all and love baseball, the Blue Jays will get there again, all these people complaining about Rogers and such have to be patient and realize that going up against the Sox and Yanks and their money won't be easy, but being able to entice players to come to Toronto as opposed to others is how they do it.  GO JAYS GO!

Since: Jul 14, 2008
Posted on: January 31, 2012 10:04 am

Blue Jays president optimistic on near future

The Blue Jays could make a push towards the playoffs. They need to win more of there 1 run games. If they won 10 more of there 1 run games that puts them at 91-71. I believe they had the most blow saves last year also. With those two bums gone it should help some. I wouldn't sign anyone to more then a 5 year contract at this point either. If you want the long contract come to the Blue Jays play a couple of good years and earn that contract.

Since: Nov 4, 2006
Posted on: January 31, 2012 9:44 am

Blue Jays president optimistic on near future

The Jays will be lucky to make 1 playoff in that time..It will be the same biz as it's been for nearly 20 years..NY vs Bos !!

Since: Jan 24, 2007
Posted on: January 31, 2012 9:17 am

Blue Jays president optimistic on near future

I believe in Paul and I believe in Alex...The Blue Jays will return to where they belong...the top of the AL East...back to the glory years of 84-93...can't wait...and the Yankees and Red Sox will be an after thought like they were back then...

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